Chris Long [photo: Bryan Carver]

Rising to the top

Talking with beer crafters on PEI: Chris Long

The Brewer | Bryan Carver

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For most university students, a trip to the liquor store to buy some beer is simply a means to stock up for a weekend of partying. But for Chris Long, Head Brewer for PEI Brewing Company, one random trip to a New Brunswick liquor store led to an evolving path in a career as a brewer. In that store, a small discounted selection of beers left over from a beer festival held in Fredericton was available and featured beers from around the globe. These unique beers sparked a curiosity in Chris, and he began trying different beers whenever he saw something new land on a shelf.

After moving back home to PEI, Chris worked various jobs but still managed to find time to try new beers whenever the chance presented itself. Soon he befriended some of the staff at the Gahan House brewery in Charlottetown, and when a chance opened for him to join the team he jumped at the opportunity.

Much of his first year in the basement brewery was spent cleaning kegs and washing tanks and preparing them to receive finished beer. An opportunity to brew at Gahan House opened up and Chris moved into the brewhouse. Within a year he was supervising trainee brewers who came to gain some hands-on experience. During this time Chris began looking deeply into the recipes and finding subtle adjustments to improve the beers offered on Sydney Street.

As the Gahan brand grew and PEI Brewing Company launched, Chris continued to improve his skills as a brewer. With the opening of the PEI Brewing Company brewery on Kensington Road in Charlottetown, Chris moved to brewing at the larger production brewery permanently. He advanced to the position of Head Brewer in late 2013, a role which he continues to hold today. There Chris has been responsible for the largest amount of beer continually produced in the history of PEI.

Between his time at Gahan House and PEI Brewing Company, Chris has developed hundreds of recipes, with countless subtle variations to improve the overall quality of the beer. His work to develop products such as Colliding Tides and various Gahan brands continues to this day, and the constant pursuit of improvement and providing drinkers with the best quality beverage is a persistent motivator. 

Any beer lover on the Island has certainly enjoyed a beer that Chris was some way involved in, and that is certain to be the case for the foreseeable future.

Bryan CarverThe BrewThe Brewer